Are Printer Drivers a Thing of the Past?

Posted on May 7, 2010 at 9:15 pm by Donna Warren

Apparently Google and Hewlett Packard think so. I discussed HP’s new smart install print system last week where they are storing the necessary drivers in the printer so all you have to do is plug in the printer USB cable and like magic, you can just print. Of course this technology only works with HP’s latest printers.

Google is planning to use its cloud to manage print jobs by acting as a print server to boost the acceptance of it Chrome OS. According to Google, “Since in Google Chrome OS all applications are web apps, we wanted to design a printing experience that would enable web apps to give users the full printing capabilities that native apps have today. Using the one component all major devices and operating systems have in common– access to the cloud– today we’re introducing some preliminary designs for a project called Google Cloud Print, a service that enables any application (web, desktop, or mobile) on any device to print to any printer.”

Isn’t this the Hard Way to Print?

The idea is to let the Google Cloud Print take over the responsibility of sending and managing print jobs by sending them to the appropriate printer and letting the application know the job’s status.

While this concept is certainly interesting, I think Google may be biting off more than it can chew. Does it actually make sense to send a print job to Google and for them to turn around and send it back to the printer sitting next to my computer?

Will My Data Get Stolen?

What about privacy? How can Google guarantee that none of MY information will be captured by folks I don’t want to see my information? Will Google delete files after printing or will there still be a copy out there somewhere in the cloud?


I guess we will just have to wait and see how this all shakes out. The only thing I am sure of is that it seems that the local printer driver will soon be going to join the cassette and 8 track tapes in the annuals of computer history.

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